Vanderbilt University is home to the National Center for Childhood Deafness and Family Communication, which is the recipient of one of three Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Communication Disorders Training Program grants. While MCHB acknowledges the excellence found within all the programs it funds, this national recognition is an outstanding accomplishment for Vanderbilt University, and may help to recruit additional high-quality trainees and faculty to its MCH-focused specialty training. Congratulations and thanks for all of your great work, Vanderbilt!
As part of a commitment to promoting leadership among MCH trainees, MCH training programs report the percent of their long-term training graduates that demonstrate leadership in the field within five years of graduation. Between 2005 and 2008, this measure of leadership has increased steadily from 78% to 86%; a 10% increased overall. Graduates are showing increased leadership activities in the areas of advocacy (50% to 59%) and clinical practice (56% to 64%). There was, however, a 9% decrease in leadership in the public health policy arena.
While MCH training programs are helping more of their trainees to become leaders, they continue to strive for an even greater impact. In 2008, 30% (23 of 77) of reporting training programs did not meet their self-defined objectives around leadership, indicating that MCHB-funded programs hope to affect greater improvements in this measure in the years to come.
Change in Percent of Graduates Demonstrating Leadership - 2005 to 2008
All = 10%
PH Policy = -9%
Acedemic = 1%
Clinical = 13%
Advocacy = 17%
Cultural competency-a concept which encompasses the attitudes and skills required for respecting cultural differences as well as the recognition of value of a diverse work force that is better able to serve its target population–was identified as one of six goals of the MCH Training Program within its 2005-2010 Strategic Plan. While the 2005 average cultural competency score was a respectable 20.9 (out of a possible 27 points), MCH training programs increased the degree to which they included cultural competency in their curricula and training to an average 22.3 by 2008. To determine their cultural competency score, MCH training programs rate the degree to which their policies, procedures, and educational offerings incorporate elements of cultural competence into written plans, didactic and practice-based learning opportunities, and research designs. MCH training programs also consider the cultural diversity of their trainees, faculty, and staff. These high scores demonstrate that MCH training programs are not only teaching the concept of cultural competence in the classroom, but also sponsoring culturally competent research and practice.
Despite the high scores and improvement, only 67% of MCH training programs met their self-defined objectives in 2008. These programs have set their sights high, indicating that they want to do more than satisfy minimum standards; they want to push their programs to be even more suitable environments for training the next generation of MCH leaders.
Average Cultural Competency Score for MCH Training Program
Cultural Compentecy Score (ranges from 0-27) = 21.4
Percent of Program Meetings Self-Defined Objectives = 77.0%
Compentecy Score = 22.3
% meetings objectives = 73.4%
Compentecy Score = 22.5
% meetings objectives = 65.5%
Compentecy Score = 21.9
% meetings objectives = 67.0%
The Gift that Keeps on Giving…
The MCH Training Programs are a substantiated investment in the field of maternal and child health that will reap benefits for decades to come. In 2008, 488 of the 1894 faculty members of MCH Training Programs were at one time short, medium or long-term trainees themselves. These former trainees represent a wide range of disciplines and training programs currently funded by MCH, and have roles in academia, practice, and research. Perhaps most importantly, these faculty members are helping to mold the next generation of leaders through the administration of training programs.
Percent of Faculty who are Former Trainees by MCH Training Program
LEAH = 41.5%
PPC = 37.4%
Knowledge to Practice = 36.4%
MCH Nursing = 35.3%
MCH Nutrition = 30.1%
Social Work = 27.3%
LEND = 25.6%
MCH Epidemiology Doctoral Training = 25.6%
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics = 25.1%
MCH Pipeline Training Program = 21.7%
Pediatric Dentistry = 21.4%
MCH Distance Learning = 17.9%
Communication Disorders = 17.2%
Schools of Public Health = 15.4%
COR = 12.2%
Average = 26.01%
While MCH Training Programs enroll some trainees for long periods of time, they also provide a valuable service to the community and professionals through continuing education and collaboration. Continuing education can take many forms, such as short on-site courses, conferences, and online distance education, and some MCH Training Programs are entirely dedicated to developing and administering continuing education opportunities. These programs are meeting a real need; a 2008 national assessment revealed that the majority of state MCH and CSHCN Directors felt a substantiated need for staff training in a wide range of areas, particularly critical thinking, leadership development, and management. Yet due to economic, practical, and political constraints, only 40% these directors are able to attend to workforce development as a top priority.
MCH Training programs also collaborate with and provide technical assistance to national, state, and local agencies on issues such as program development, clinical services, program evaluation, and policy and guideline formation. Continuing education and collaboration are two of the ways that MCH Training Program Faculty are working beyond the classroom to support the MCH workforce and improve the lives of women and children nationwide.
MCH Training Programs are guiding thousands of intelligent and passionate individuals towards careers as strong leaders in the field of maternal and child health. In 2008, there were 1,967 long-term, 5,544 medium-term, and 19,292 short-term trainees engaged in MCH Training Programs. Their experiences vary widely; some complete month-long rotations in physician residency programs, while others earn highly-specialized doctoral degrees or complete post-doctoral fellowships. Through the MCH Training Program, these trainees are not only learning content and skills through courses, seminars and lectures, but also gaining practical experience as they complete internships and field placements.
Critical to MCHB-funded training programs staying "on track" is knowing about the workforce development needs of the MCH and CYSHCN practitioners who plan, implement and monitor systems of care in the states. For example, a 2008 national assessment revealed that:
critical thinking skills were ranked as the area of greatest need for training. Within this domain, over two-thirds of the state Title V programs reporting (96% MCH and 86% CYSHCN) indicated skills in systems thinking and in translating policy into organizational plans, structures, and programs as priorities
approximately three-fourths of these state programs reported needs to enhance staff competencies in similar public health skill areas such as synthesis of MCH science, translating data info viable information for needs assessment and planning, and knowledge and skills for designing and conducting program evaluations.
More findings on state Title V professional development and graduate education needs are available in several issue briefs published by the Association of MCH Programs: